Posts Tagged ‘mathematics-of-poker’

Online Pokerer Plays Big in Election Politics

@FiveThirtyEight on the art and science of reading presidential tea leaves

by , Oct 23, 2012 | 1:31 pm

PresidentTracker: One of the world’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 at the WSOP in 2011.
(Photo: PokerListings)

Plenty of talk about polls as we head into the homestretch of our 2012 US Presidential election. Who’s up, who’s down, who asked what and margin-of-error how? Just remember: no matter where you are on the political spectrum, in the horserace journalism of it all, the mainstream media are primary beneficiaries of a tight race. At least that’s what I keep telling myself after making some rather significant wagers on essentially a “gut” feeling that the national economy was improving and no way more than 43 percent of Americans would vote for a guy who strapped his dog to the roof of a car.

But proper analysis is apparently not so simple.

No wonder so many pundits are looking to a former online poker semi-pro to tell us who’s the best bet for president.

Nate Silver, 34, is author of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t … and he’s all the rage among the politerati these days. His book apparently brings multi-level thinking taught by hand histories into the political sphere. And in doing so, Silver puts online poker on the same level as other imperfect but predictive sciences such as hurricane tracking and counterterrorism. (And nobody seems to be laughing at the comparisons!)

The Signal and the Noise came out the chute in September on the New York Times bestseller list, where it’s currently #15 among all non-fiction books. And at the time of this posting, the book ranked #1 on Amazon for books about math, #1 for technology, and #2 for politics and social sciences.

More…


(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 29

by , Jun 24, 2009 | 7:11 am

The recap of Tuesday activities…

Lisandro Goes for Bracelet #3

The $2,500 Razz has 13 players remaining with Jeff Lisandro the chip leader (438,000) in his quest for his 3rd bracelet and take first by himself in the WSOP Player of the Year race. Co-leader Ville Wahlbeck (55,000) will have some work to do to catch Lisandro, but it’s razz, anything can happen. Don Zewin, (300,000), Kenna James (284,000), Michael Craig (102,000) and Nikolay Evdakov (88,000) are the notables who also return to conclude the tournament, starting at 2pm.

The Mathematics of Poker = 3 Bracelets

Jerrod Ankenman finally joins co-author Bill Chen as a bracelet winner, taking down the $2,500 8-Game for $241,637 besting Sergey Altbregin in heads-up play. Chris Klodnicki finished in 3rd, Jeff Tims finished 4th, while Jon Turner got his second 5th place finish in mixed game events.

Thomas Tops Seniors

Tom Thomas of Amarillo, Texas is the chip leader (917,000) of the remaining 28 players in the $1,000 Seniors NL Holdem World Championship when play resumes at 1pm. Notable names are hard to find, but among them are Scott Buller (541,000), Ted McCollum (173,000) and Gioi Luong (100,000) are the most recognizable.

Schlein Spectacular at Split Game

Josh “Sdouble” Schlein will start Day 2 with the chip lead (60,700) with 196 players remaining in the $2,500 Omaha 8 or Better event. Thang Luu (56,200) is in second, Can Kim Hua (38,400), Pat Poels (36,900), Lee Watkinson (27,900), Paul Darden (26,400) and Shannon Shorr (22,400) among the notables returning at 2pm playing down to the final 9 or 3am deadline.

Wednesday’s Tournament

Only one tournament today, the debuting $2,500 Mixed Holdem event at 12 noon, featuring alternating 30-minute periods of no-limit holdem and limit holdem. The WSOP Staff Guide projects a field of 475 today for today’s event, check out www.wsop.com for updates, and more stuff from Pokerati during the day.


The Return of Books in Poker?

Two new offerings that people may actually want to read

by , Apr 6, 2009 | 2:17 pm

Once upon a time, poker books were everywhere and everything. Then we found that saturation point, right around the time the poker boom was coming to an end … and it became harder and harder to really care about the latest poker tome … poker books stopped selling, the bookstores took down their dedicated poker racks, and uber-poker geeks like yours truly built up a pile of literature still collecting dust while waiting to be read. I swear I’ll move beyond page 26 of Bill Chen’s The Mathematics of Poker one of these days!

But probably not before reading two books that we can expect later this year: Lost Vegas, by Dr. Pauly … and Check-Raising the Devil, by Mike Matusow (with Tim Lavalli and Amy Calistri). Lost Vegas will be based on much of what we’ve been reading over the years on Tao of Poker, though I personally know the book is what Pauly’s been saving his best, so-far untold stuff for … so I’m confident every poker-industry douche insider will be eager to read what he’s been holding back.

Likewise, Matusow’s tale promises to be the kind of interesting auto-bio that even my grandmother could enjoy — lots of sex, drugs, and crime that just so happens to be set in the world of high-stakes casino gambling and/or prison — by a guy who has seen up-close-and-personal the good, the bad, and the really bad side of it all. Judging both these books by their recently completed covers (click to enlarge), I gotta think there might be something to these pokery stories, even though neither promise to tell you anything about how to play Ace-King.


Poker Tells: Relying on the Force

by , Nov 9, 2007 | 7:31 am


2 + 2 = 7

by , Oct 1, 2007 | 1:31 am

A question I often get from Sang tight-passive amateurs looking to add a little oomph to their game is: “So is that a good hand to bluff with?” Well, gee, I dunno. It depends on so many other things …

While I know what those other things are and presumably you do, too, I haven’t been able to give any structured deductive reasoning on how to evaluate the specific situation. But now I can:

This comes from ScientificBlogging, a site that may or may not have ever heard of Bill Chen. (via Poker Shrink.) In case your math is rusty, here’s an explanation:

Simple enough, no? I do think, however, there is one variable that this equation doesn’t consider, and that is “time.” There are situations that indeed arise mathematically, but you have a limited amount of pause before the chips you push forward begin to lose value.